A 2nd Generation Industry Leader on Success and Sustainability
Q: Why diamonds?
A: Well, have you ever seen more precious and beautiful thing, always shining and attractive, than a diamond? Nope.
Mr. Raj Manjibhai Dholakia, Owner and Director of Bhavani Gems Pvt Ltd in Mumbai, India, honors us with his opinions on the most pressing issues facing our industry today.
1. What would you do professionally, if you weren’t working in diamonds?
Since childhood, I have lived in a diamond-centered environment. At breakfast, during lunch, at night, all the time… there was talk of diamonds. So obviously, it would be the diamond business only.
But to give you an answer, I was very much attracted to construction. So, if not diamonds, I would be a construction tycoon.
2. What is the best business advice you received when you were starting out?
There is one icon in my life and that's my father, Manjibhai Dholakia.
And he not only gave me business advice, but to many others too, and by that advice they have become recognised companies today. But the strongest and best advice I received from him was:
"Never loose your confidence and willpower at any stage of your life. Everyone is the same, but what makes great businessman different from others is their strong confidence and willpower."
3. If you could have one wish, what would it be?
No human being in this world should ever go to sleep with an empty stomach. There are millions of people in this world who cannot feed their children, so my one wish is for them.
4. Is there value in higher education even if it's not needed to become a diamantaire?
Yes, that's true. To become a diamantaire there is no need for higher education. But it does makes a difference in today's rapidly growing technological world.
5. What advice would you give to the second generation entering the diamond industry?
I would advise them "Work hard to be a businessman and work hard and ethical to be a great businessman because businessman lives for one generation but great businessman lives for generations of generation."
6. What contribution do you think the younger generation brought to the industry?
The younger generation contributed to the diamond industry by making valuable use of the Internet and technology. They brought professionalism to the diamond business.
7. What changes would you recommend for improving the industry?
To make the diamond industry stronger, it should work more on excess inventory control. Looking several years back, the industry has made a good margin, but the quick volatility in prices of diamonds cuts down that margin and that is due to excess availability of inventory during peak prices, which results in loss.
Also, controlling excess inventory helps the industry to keep its finances strong, considering bank lending has decreased.
8. What is your vision for the worldwide diamond industry?
The diamond industry is a family oriented business and works on traditional values (trust, confidence.)
But what I see as a big change in diamond industry is the transformation toward professionalism, and that will keep the natural diamond industry alive for hundreds of years. Diamonds are rare and priceless, and they have emotions attached to them. So, as long as the consumers continue to feel, diamonds will live along with them.
9. How do you think young diamontaires can contribute toward making a better world?
The world becomes better by having unity.
Business competition is always there but when it comes to social and environmental work, our fathers’ generation has always stood together for these causes. So unity is the only trait and behavior I can recommend the younger generation should have, to be able to contribute to making a better world.
10. Why diamonds?
Well, have you ever seen more precious and beautiful thing, always shining and attractive, than a diamond?
Nope. I haven't, at least.
We should consider ourselves lucky that we have this opportunity to play with such masterpieces. Every human being will have the desire to wear diamonds, and we are the people who will make it possible for them. And that is why diamonds!